Each week, we bring you a roundup of some of the biggest stories making headlines around the world.
Here are nine things that happened outside of Vancouver last week that you should know about (in no particular order):
At least 717 have been killed in a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage near Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Officials say that another 863 people were injured during the incident. The stampede occurred while millions of Muslims flocked to Mecca to celebrate the beginning of Eid al-Adha. The pilgrims were on their way to preform a symbolic stoning ceremony at a sacred valley three miles away from Mecca. The stampede began when two large groups of pilgrims, travelling opposite directions, ended up in a head-on collision at an intersection. This is the worst disaster to occur during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca in 25 years.
Approximately 25 people have been killed after two suicide bombs exploded at a mosque in Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa. People were participating in a prayer service at the mosque for the Eid al–Adha festival, when the bombs went off. Officials say that at least 36 people have been injured.
Can I say it again! I am free! Genuine gratitude to Canadians, lawyers, free press advocates & journalists who called for our release.
— Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (@MFFahmy11) September 24, 2015
On Wednesday, jailed Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were pardoned by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Fahmy and Mohamed spent 400 days in prison before being freed along with 100 other men. In 2012, the journalists and their Australian colleague, Peter Greste, were arrested for reporting “false news” and being connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Greste was deported to Australia in February. In a retrial last month, Baher and Mohamed were sentenced to three years in prison. Wednesday’s release came as a surprise for the journalists. Fahmy told reporters that he “still cant believe it.” Fahmy will return to Canada where he has accepted a teaching position at the University of British Columbia.
On Wednesday, residents in Borno State, Nigera, were banned from driving their cars, using public transport, or riding horses, donkeys and camels. The ban came before Eid al-Adha as state officials were concerned that militant group Boko Haram was planning an attack during the Muslim holiday. On Sunday, Boko Haram was responsible for a bombing that killed 54 people in the state capital of Maiduguri. The ban on transport will end on Friday.
Pope Francis began his six-day tour of the U.S. and gave his first direct address at the White House. In his speech, Pope Francis addressed issues such as climate change, the Syrian refugee crisis, gay marriage and abortion. Francis acknowledged that he was supportive of Obama’s environmental policies regarding climate change, as well as the efforts to rebuild ties with Cuba. He also gave a nod to right-wing values as he shared opinions on the importance of traditional family values and marriage. During his visit to the U.S., the Pope will travel to New York and Philadelphia.
On Monday, gunmen kidnapped four people, including two Canadian tourists, from a popular resort located on Samal Island in the Philippines. According to Philippines Army Captain Alberto Caber, the attack was targeted. “Four people were taken but we do not know what group was behind the attack,” Caber told reporters, according to Reuters. The other victims have been identified as the resort’s Norwegian manager, and a Filipino woman who is believed to be a partner of one of the Canadians.
— RT (@RT_com) September 24, 2015
A powerful 6.6 magnitude earthquake rocked the coast of east Indonesia. According to officials, over 60 people have been injured, and that number is expected to rise. The undersea earthquake occurred around 1am Friday (1553 GMT Thursday). Approximately 200 homes have been damaged, leading many to seek safety in temporary shelters. No deaths have been reported so far.
Volkswagen is struggling to maintain its reputation after it was revealed the automaker used cheating software to avoid U.S. emissions regulations. The software was also used on 1.6 and 2.0 liter cars sold in Europe. In a statement, the automaker said that the software might be present in 11 million Volkswagen vehicles around the world.
Over $9.5 billion dollars Canadian have been set aside to deal with the cars impacted by the faulty software. Now, BMW is being criticized for using the same software, as tests conducted by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) indicate that the company’s four-wheel drive X3 model went three times over the legal European limit of nitrogen oxide . BMW is denying the allegations in the report.
A paralyzed man regained his ability to walk using a brainwave technology system. The 26-year-old, who has been paralyzed for five years, was able to walk a distance of approximately 3.66 meters. The technology used to help the man walk was an electrode cap that sensed his brain signals, sending brain wave codes to a stimulation device that triggered the nerves in his legs to move.
Before the patient was able to walk, he underwent intense physical training to strengthen his legs as well as mental training using other methods of brainwave technology. “Even after years of paralysis, the brain can still generate robust brain waves that can be harnessed to enable basic walking,” said Dr. An Do, the co-author of the study and a neurology professor at the University of California Irving.